Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange is in danger of shutting down by next year, despite a $205 million investment. The governor’s office has sent a proposal to try and salvage it.
Officials with the Hawaii Health Connector said in a report last week that the state will not “provide sufficient support” for the exchange through FY 2016, which ends on June 30, 2016, according to Insurancenewsnet.
Because of that, “the Connector can no longer operate in a manner that would cause it to incur additional debts or other obligations for which it is unable to pay,” said the report, which was prepared by officials with the nonprofit.
“Staff reductions will commence immediately, with the executive director (Jeff Kissel) exiting once the bulk of operational activities end,” the report said. “If the state cannot facilitate an orderly transition, the Connector’s operations will abruptly end, as the Connector does not have the resources to continue operations.”
Of the roughly $204 million in federal grants the program has received to establish an exchange, all but about $70 million has been spent, according to Pacific Business News.
Fox News pointed out that Oregon, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico, and Nevada have already shut down their state-based exchanges, despite a federal investment of $4.5 billion. The network notes another staggering fact:
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already restricted grant funds to the Hawaii Health Connector, after telling officials in March it was out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act because of fiscal instability and ongoing IT issues.
Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, submitted a contingency plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this week to save the exchange, Ige spokeswoman Jodi Leong told Pacific Business News Wednesday:
The CMS will review the draft and provide feedback to assist the state in finalizing the plan. No dates have been set for further action. As we discussed, the plan is in draft form and therefore will not be released at this time.
The plan would affect about 37,000 to 40,000 people currently on the exchange.
“There are other states that are using the federal healthcare.gov website on a temporary basis while they build on their own technology,” Hawaii Health Connector Executive Director Kissel said. “That option is open to us, but whether or not we do the same has not been decided yet by the administration.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth